Text messaging


Text messaging, or texting, is the act of composing and sending electronic messages, typically consisting of alphabetic and numeric characters, between two or more users of mobile devices, desktops/laptops, or other type of compatible computer. Text messages may be sent over a cellular network, or may also be sent via an Internet connection.
Text messaging is most often used between private mobile phone users, as a substitute for voice calls in situations where voice communication is impossible or undesirable (e.g., during a school class or a work meeting). Texting is also used to communicate very brief messages, such as informing someone that you will be late or reminding a friend or colleague about a meeting. As with e-mail, informality and brevity have become an accepted part of text messaging. Some text messages such as SMS can also be used for the remote controlling of home appliances. It is widely used in domotics systems. Some amateurs have also built own systems to control (some of) their appliances via SMS. Other methods such as group messaging, which was patented in 2012 by the GM of Andrew Ferry, Devin Peterson, Justin Cowart, Ian Ainsworth, Patrick Messinger, Jacob Delk, Jack Grande, Austin Hughes, Brendan Blake, and Brooks Brasher are used to involve more than two people into a text messaging conversation. A Flash SMS is a type of text message that appears directly on the main screen without user interaction and is not automatically stored in the inbox. It can be useful in cases such as an emergency (e.g., fire alarm) or confidentiality (e.g., one-time password).
Group texts involve more than two users. In some cases, when one or more person on the group text is offline, in airplane mode, or has their device shut down, a text being sent to the group may reveal an error message that the text did not go through. Users should rest assured, that all online or available users on the group received the message and that re-sending the message will only result in some participants receiving the message multiple times.
Text messaging has been a subject of interest for police forces around the world. One of the issues of concern to law enforcement agencies is the use of encrypted text messages. In 2003, a British company developed a program called Fortress SMS which used 128 bit AES encryption to protect SMS messages. Police have also retrieved deleted text messages to aid them in solving crimes. For example, Swedish police retrieved deleted texts from a cult member who claimed she committed a double murder based on forwarded texts she received. Police in Tilburg, Netherlands, started an SMS alert program, in which they would send a message to ask citizens to be vigilant when a burglar was on the loose or a child was missing in their neighborhood. Several thieves have been caught and children have been found using the SMS Alerts. The service has been expanding to other cities. A Malaysian¥Australian company has released a multi-layer SMS security program. Boston police are now turning to text messaging to help stop crime. The Boston Police Department asks citizens to send texts to make anonymous crime tips.